If you’ve been hurt because of another’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the pain and suffering that you’ve had to endure. Personal injury cases involve economic losses such as medical bills; lost wages; property damage, like damage to your car because of a car wreck; and medical equipment or supplies. Personal injury cases also involve non-economic damages including the pain that you’ve gone through because of your injuries.
Since pain is subjective, this is one of the most difficult parts of a personal injury case. Next to determining fault, this area is one that is hard for juries. Medical bills and car repairs come with a set dollar amount. The pain that you feel does not.
How do Insurance Companies Value Pain and Suffering Damages?
In this discussion, we are assuming that you are not at fault in the incident. Meaning you are not the driver that caused the wreck or that you didn’t cause your harm (fail to wear the fall protection provided by your employer and then get hurt in a construction fall). The insurance company for the responsible party generally pays for your economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Doctor bills
- Prescription costs
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
The total of your economic losses becomes a baseline for figuring out how much your pain and suffering is worth. For example, if your economic damages total $100, your pain and suffering may be valued at $50. The total amount of your economic damages becomes a way for the insurance adjuster to compute your pain and suffering. The pain and suffering amount will be added on top of your economic damages.
How do Juries Look at Pain and Suffering Damages?
Juries will first decide who is at fault in the incident. They will weigh the evidence and assign blame to the parties. Sometimes they find that all parties are at fault. Also, they will decide damages. Juries will look at the economic costs, just like the insurance adjuster. Juries will also consider the severity of the accident. They will consider the evidence detailing the incident. The more severe the injuries, the more valuable the pain and suffering claim becomes.
Most importantly, they will hear from you about your pain. Jurors can only empathize with what they understand. The better you can describe the pain you feel, the better they will understand. Just stating that it hurt when you fell won’t garner much attention. Where describing the constant pain that you feel during contractures and watching your body contract during testimony will hit home as the jury hears from a quadriplegic.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, a personal injury lawyer can help. It is tough to value all of your damages and trying to go it alone may mean you don’t get everything that you’re entitled to. Contact Chelsie King Garza today for a free consultation.